5 Things That Sound, Move, or Smell Like a Nuclear Explosion
The Licorne (“Unicorn”) thermonuclear test; Fangataufa, French Polynesia; 1970CTBTO After most of the world’s nations signed the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, in 1996, they set up a new commission to watch out for clandestine explosions. Since then the commission (CTBTO) has wired the world with hundreds of seismometers, infrasound detectors, radionuclide sniffers, and underwater microphones. The […]
What’s Worse: Unwanted Mutations or Unwanted Humans?
Three of the rare Przewalski’s horses that now roam the area near the Chernobyl nuclear plant.Sergey Gaschak After a fatal series of errors and malfunctions in the early morning of April 26, 1986, the core of the Chernobyl nuclear facility melted down and then exploded, killing 31 workers at the plant. The accident spewed massive […]
Will Fusion Energy Ever Come Together?
The target assembly at the National Ignition Facility’s fusion experiment. The two triangle-shaped arms shield the cylinder until five seconds before a blast from the world’s most powerful lasers. It’s the poetry of fusion that draws us in. There in the heart of a star, in the welter of plasma, we find creation. In mindboggling […]
Chernobyl’s Hot Mess, “the Elephant’s Foot,” Is Still Lethal
300 seconds will produce a relatively quick death, which is better than many alternatives. After just 30 seconds of exposure, dizziness and fatigue will find you a week later. Two minutes of exposure and your cells will soon begin to hemorrhage; four minutes: vomiting, diarrhea, and fever. 300 seconds and you have two days to live. […]